Gov. Rick Snyder should be appointing a Macomb County Probate judge in the coming weeks to fill the vacancy created following the fall election.
The State Bar of Michigan narrowed the field to a smaller number for the governor’s office to conduct additional interviews.
Among the attorneys who applied to complete final 20 or
21 months in the term are several hopefuls who have previously sought
judgeships. Candidates include Assistant Macomb County Prosecutor Jean
Cloud, prior probate judge candidate Sandra Harrision, Patricia
Patterson, Warren City Council president Cecil St. Pierre, Armand
Velardo and Robert Cella, according to Macomb Chief Judge James Biernat
Jr. Biernat said there likely are other candidates of whom he was not
Although Marlinga was elected to begin serving in circuit
court in the new year, he has remained assigned to probate court until
Snyder appoints his replacement. When the new judge takes over, Marlinga
will move to circuit court to begin hearing circuit court civil and
Probate Judge Kathryn George, who was assigned to a
family docket in the circuit court building in downtown Mount Clemens,
has returned to probate court at North Rose and Dunham roads on the
outskirts of Mount Clemens, although she is currently on medical leave.
Marlinga will take the courtroom currently occupied by
Judge Rachel Rancilio, a family judge who will move to a smaller
courtroom previously used by a juvenile court referee. Marlinga will
require a larger courtroom because of security issues involving criminal
defendants appearing before him.
Rancilio and Judge Michigan Servitto also were elected
to six-year terms in November. Servitto presides over criminal and civil
The new probate judge could seek re-election in fall 2018.
A Snyder spokeswoman did not return a call for comment.
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Governor mulling candidates for Macomb probate judge